There’s been lots of talk about political correctness in this year’s election. One side is tired of it. The other side feels that a lack of it speaks of racism, misogyny, and discrimination. Let me give you a little history. We invented political correctness in this country in the South. And we were well-intentioned. It is really about civility which comes from the concept of civilization.
Those of us raised in the South were taught to be polite, always. This does not mean you cannot tell someone to go to hell with a smile on your face. That is quite possible. I myself have done it. Even, if one says, “Bless her heart,” there is a way to say it to send your intent. But the basic principle is civilized discourse, keeping the peace- something this election lacked. Southerners are sensitive to language and dialect. For instance, there are over forty different dialects spoken in the state of South Carolina alone. We are very sensitive to language. We need to remember that Southerners are inclined to create social events centered around food and conversation. A good hostess seeks to create a convivial and congenial atmosphere. People who disrupt such an atmosphere are often not invited back. What I remember most about my Southern mother is that she taught me to face life with a sense of “grace with dignity.”
So the bottom line is, there is a way to say unpleasant things in a more pleasant way and sometimes very colorful:
- Someone died- He passed away, entered into the next life, left this earth.
- The Civil War- the late unpleasantness
- She’s pregnant- in the family way
- She’s a whore-lady of the evening
- He’s bisexual- swings both ways
- Mentally challenged – a little bit touched
- Rich- Living in high cotton
- Someone being offensive- said sarcastically “Aren’t you precious?”
- Your skirt is too short- Being able to see Christmas (to the top of the Christmas tree)
- Underpants- britches
- Throwing a tantrum- a hissy fit
How would this work in an election? Let’s say Donald Trump in a debate wants to say, “She’s a nasty woman.” Instead, he would first of all not interrupt, and then he might say, “Hillary I do not consider that a fair comment.”
Why should we be politically correct? Children are watching and listening.